The 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class was officially announced on Monday with plenty of ACC flavor, including one former Tar Heel.
Former Tar Heel offensive tackle Harris Barton became the eighth Tar Heel overall and the fifth Tar Heel player to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Barton, whose number is one of five offensive linemen to reside in the Tar Heels’ ring of honor, becomes the first offensive lineman to be elected. Barton is also a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Barton started all four years of his Tar Heel career spending his first year and a half at center before making the move over to left tackle where he became one of the best offensive tackles in the country. In his four seasons on campus, the Tar Heels saw four running backs run for 1,000 or more yards and averaged 394.2 yards of total offense per game. He was a two time All-ACC member, earning those honors in each of his final two seasons, a consensus first-team All-America selection in 1986 and a Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipient that same season. Barton was also a fantastic student in his time on campus, being selected to the ACC All-Academic Team and Dean’s List twice. Following his career in Chapel Hill, Barton was drafted in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft and was a key part of an offensive line that helped the San Francisco 49ers win three Super Bowls in his ten years in the Bay Area.
While Barton was elected to the 2021 class, Julius Peppers was somehow spurned, despite seemingly like a near lock in his first season on the ballot. The question for Peppers now becomes how long will it take for him to inevitably get in?